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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion volume to Bake
This is definitely a companion volume to bake. In Rachel's usual style the recipes are easy to follow and bake regardless if you are a newcomer to baking or an experienced one. As its title suggests it is jam packed with many different cakes to cover all sorts of cake baking and eating occasions.

Not every single cake is pictured but the ones that are look...
Published 23 months ago by KM Cook Book Queen

versus
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doing a jig saw without the box - a mixed review
Or 'Who'd have thought you could actually MAKE Arctic Roll?'

I found that twelve plus, including the cover, photos of day time tv cook Rachel Allen, a modern day Marie Antoinette, in soft grey/white knitware (no apron) smiling slightly smugly, as in a cashmere catalogue rather than a cookery book to be rather de trop. Especially when so many of her recipes go...
Published 20 months ago by Mrs. Katharine Kirby


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion volume to Bake, 27 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
This is definitely a companion volume to bake. In Rachel's usual style the recipes are easy to follow and bake regardless if you are a newcomer to baking or an experienced one. As its title suggests it is jam packed with many different cakes to cover all sorts of cake baking and eating occasions.

Not every single cake is pictured but the ones that are look good. The chapters are: Easy, Fast, Healthy, Classic, Teatime, Dessert, Children's Decorating Ideas, Celebration, Festive and Cake Essentials. The healthy chapter also contains cakes suitable for some food allergies including - vegan, dairy and egg free, gluten free and sugar free.

Here is a cake from each of the first 9 chapters as an idea of what you will find: Tropical cake, Raspberry and Blueberry Friands, Sugar free Banana Bread (sweetened with agave nectar), Victoria Sponge, Cappuccino Squares, After Dinner Mint Cake, Artic Roll, White Chocolate Anniversary Cake and Halloween Pumpkin Squares.

If I'm being pick I'd say I would have liked ALL the recipes in the Children chapter photographed, as I know my little one likes to see a picture of what is going to be made. Also there is not a fan oven temperature on the individual recipes. There is a paragraph at the back, but as my oven is a fan I do like the fan temps in the actual recipes. I'd give this one 4.5 stars, but I've ranked it 5 as to me it is nearer a five than a 4.

On my cooling rack at the moment I have the cover cake - Hazelnut Meringue Cake, and my next bake from this book will be Rachel's Dulce de Leche Cake. I'm looking forward to dipping into this one for years to come. If you liked Bake, you'll like this one too.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doing a jig saw without the box - a mixed review, 4 Nov 2012
By 
Mrs. Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
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Or 'Who'd have thought you could actually MAKE Arctic Roll?'

I found that twelve plus, including the cover, photos of day time tv cook Rachel Allen, a modern day Marie Antoinette, in soft grey/white knitware (no apron) smiling slightly smugly, as in a cashmere catalogue rather than a cookery book to be rather de trop. Especially when so many of her recipes go without pictures. Which is a crying shame, as most cooks will jolly well want to see what the finished product is supposed to look like. About one third go without illustrations. This is probably down to the publisher's art department who may have got a bit above themselves with too many full page arty shots of cooking debris and other odd pics. I'd rather see the Teddy Bear cake than try to work it all out for myself.

This cake compendium is stuffed with 350 pages over the top sugar fests, enough for any lifetime. It is reassuringly well produced in firm hardback, strong enough to withstand being cracked open and laid akimbo on the worktop. Smooth and shiny pages will almost wipe clean.

Being perhaps responsible for the Lizard Peninsula sinking several inches deeper into its coastline by running Mrs. Kirby's Baking Company from the local Farm Shop at Gear for seven years, I am pretty well qualified to review a cake book. I would certainly have bought this one for inspiration during that heady time. The decorative ideas alone are worth the price. It would be a most useful introduction to the art of baking as well as a refresher course for us old hands.

I am glad that she counsels the use of butter, no mention of margarine here. The baking kit she suggests is sensible and far from extravagant. We all know how noisy the tin cupboard can be when they all slide out, so good to find a small range of trays and tins can be used to produce so many varieties. The book is modest in this way with no real commercial axe to grind. However unless you have a walk in, well stuffed larder like Nigella, you will need to pre plan and go shopping for ingredients. Out in the country this matters, for instance today I made her Bakewell Cake but had to leave off the flakey almonds on top, no matter, it is still as light as air, deliciously crunchy, the scattered frozen raspberries in the recipe adding jewel brightness to the cake.... However it took half an hour more than specified before it was cooked through.

It's always fun and stimulating to be shown new ways of doing familiar things. No need to keep churning out the old favourites, the same ingredients can be tweaked and re presented as new and exciting.

Rachel Allen has done her research and come up with an all- encompassing range of goodies for every level of ability, all occasions and every time scale.

Irresistible really are the multitude of choices:

Easy, fast, Healthy, Classic, Teatime, Dessert, Children's decorating Ideas, Celebration and Festive. A Glossary of cake essentials and index to close cover it all.

A charming introduction explains her fascination and her encouraging words preface what must surely be a PhD in Cakes. Her Cookery School certainly deserves University status.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear cakery bakery..., 31 Oct 2012
By 
techpuppy "aka stylepuppy" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
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I first encountered Rachel Allen when I caught her cookery show on BBC1 on a Saturday morning and liked her immediately, she has a sort of fresh un-fussiness about the way she presents her cookery. That un-fussiness has translated into this cookbook too, it's a lovely doorstop of a book, thickly bound and heavy but with a fresh clean look and lots of tempting treats inside. The chapters cover pretty much every bakery eventuality you'll ever need - including Easy, Healthy (more about making allergen-free cakes than slimming ones!), Classic, Children's, Celebration and Festive sections - and mostly consist of familiar favourites with some more unusual cakes and treats scattered throughout.

An experienced baker might not find very much that's new here but that's not the main purpose of the book, it's really a compendium of yummy cakery bakery with a contemporary twist. Rachel Allen seems to be particularly good at explaining the methods in her recipes, her directions are concise but complete, something a lot of cookbooks aren't always so good at. The only complaint I'd have is the lack of photographs - there are lots and they do add a lot of style to the book but the majority of the cakes are not illustrated and that's a shame. With home baking enjoying such a resurgence at the moment every chef with a publisher (isn't that all of them?) seems to be rushing one out, however this is definitely one of the nicest I've seen - comprehensive, clearly-written and fresh-looking.

UPDATE: Since getting this book it's turned into my go-to baking cookbook - each of the recipes I've tried has turned out well and some are completely scrumptious. I'd like to get the previous 'Bake' book too but it seems to be currently unavailable. However, this one remains highly recommended - especially the Marbled Chocolate Crumble Cake!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not enough photos!, 24 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
I know everyone says there are not enough photos of her food in her books. I usually don't mind but in this case they are definitely needed especially in the children's birthday cake section. She gives detailed written explanation of technics etc. but a thumbnail picture would explain a lot better. There are no pictures for some and just a picture of the finished product for others. I made the hedgehog cake as my 8 year old daughter had her heart set on it but while I made the sponge and icing using her recipe I had to figure out the shaping of it myself as her explanation was not straight forward or suffient. There are some wasted pictures too. For example there is a photo of an empty muffin tin. I would much prefer a useful picture!! There is a photo of a victoria sponge but again as I would think most people would know what that looks like a photo of the lesser known cakes would be better instead (if there is a limit on the number of photos that can go in her book!) Having said all that there are some lovely recipes in her book that I will definitely be making but I will look elsewhere for ideas for novelty cakes because her instructions for shaping etc. are just not good enough.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tons of great recipes, but very few pictures!, 26 Nov 2012
By 
Gemma "Chocolatebox" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
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I already had Rachel Allen's 'Bake' so kind of knew what to expect with Cake. Tons of great recipes in here and I like the ordering done this time. Various chapters from easy or quick to more difficult recipes, which I don't dare venture onto yet!

Unfortunately the problem for me, as with her previous 'Bake' book is the lack of pictures. There are a few in there but the majority of recipes don't have a picture and for a more novice baker like myself, this is especially frustrating as I'm unsure of what my bake should be looking like!

I have tried a couple of the recipes, the Bakewell cake near the front was especially tasty (and it had a picture!) and was easy for me to bake. I will undoubtedly try more of the recipes, probably in the easy and quick sections!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let her eat (more) cake!, 12 Nov 2012
By 
Chappers "chappers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
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As anyone who knows me will attest to, I am a sucker for cakes and desserts. I need help making them though, as I haven't developed the skills to know exactly what I'm doing in this regard. I like that for a lot of recipes in this book, there is an opening paragraph describing the cake in a bit of prose detail, such as it's origins or variations. But I don't think I'm alone in the belief that inspiration is as much a driver is cooking as anything else and I always start with my eyes (because I'm not very imaginative!). Yet this is another example of a recipe book that doesn't feel the need to illustrate each recipe with a photo of the finished article. Take "Perfect Peanut Butter Cake" on page 293 for example. Was it so perfect that it didn't warrant a photo to prove it? I have no idea what this would look like, or how to dress it. "Fast Cinnamon Yoghurt Cake" on page 44 gets to be illustrated with a companion photo of Rachel herself staring slightly off-camera with her hand on a turned-out cake base - which didn't even get to be in the full shot. Hang on a minute? I thought this book was about the cakes, not about the author?

In a nutshell, this book does contain a lot of good recipes. Those that are illustrated properly look do-able enough (except maybe that chocolate castle?). For me though, I need a recipe book to be consistent and formulaic in its approach. I like to see at least a picture of every end result, perhaps a couple of in-progress shots to help people know that they are on the right track. I also want a clear ingredients list, tin sizes, suggested utensils and cooking instructions. This book does get it right, but only occasionally.

I personally have never heard of Rachel Allen before, so she can't ride on her "celebrity" status with me. I therefore am not interested in the various pages of her modelling her latest grey cardigan instead of granting the pages to show what the cakes might look like.

At 12.00 on Amazon at time of writing (instead of the ridiculous RRP of 25.00), it's OK value for money, but in direct competition to Mary Berry - who I have heard of, as well as various non-"celebrity" books that will also do the job, but with less razz-matazz,

Less artsy photography, more cake!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
Yes I have gone and bought yet another of Rachel's cook books yes its ok but a much of a muchness . I am not knocking Rachel's books I have hundreds of different cook books and they all seem to have the same sort of recipes in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Irish Godess Of Baking, 7 May 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
Hardback cover 352 pages.

Review.
I brought this book for my mother who bakes most day's & is usually glued to the Food Network or Good Food channels on Freeview & Sky & likes Rachel Allen's style of baking.

This book features some really great cake recipes that I was forced to sample as my mum found this book very helpful & the recipes are easy to follow & well explained on how to make these delicious cakes.

There maybe not quite enough pictures in this book of all the recipes but the proofs in the taste & these recipes have delivered some very tasty cakes indeed.

A excellent cake recipe book & well worth purchasing.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Xmas present, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
Good solid quality cke baking cookery book that was a fantastic price unbeatable compared to high street prices.Recommend if you like cake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book!, 3 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes (Hardcover)
Excellent book, full of great cake recipes and organized by tipes of cakes! I totally recommend it to whom loves to bake!
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Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes
Cake: 200 fabulous foolproof baking recipes by Rachel Allen (Hardcover - 30 Aug 2012)
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